Saturday, December 17, 2005

Back at home for Winter Break now. I'll probably be writing more up until Christmas since classes are over and I'm not working this week.

I started planning out my 2006 goals today. Sort of a New Year's Resolution type thing. So far I've come up with 5 goals, not all of them finance-related. In order of importance:

2006 Goals:
  1. Go to Australia.
  • I have the opportunity to study abroad in Australia for about 4 weeks May-June. The program includes travelling all over the country, from Sydney, to the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforest, to the Outback. I only have to take 2 classes while I'm there too, so I'll have plenty of time to enjoy my stay. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and one that I need to make happen.
2. Maintain a 3.5 GPA for all semester of 2006.
  • Currently my overall GPA is a 3.416. I think I managed a B average this semester, so that should drop a little :(. I'd like to maintain a 3.5 for all of 2006. That includes next semester (Jan-May 2006,) the Australia semester (May-June 2006) and the fall semester (Aug-Dec 2006.) If I can achieve an overall 3.5 in each of these semesters, I will consider my goal met.
3. $3000 in liquid savings by May 1, 2006.
  • I'd like to have $3000 in my liquid savings accounts (ING, HSBC) by May 1. I'm sure some of this money will be spent in Australia, but I'm not sweating it-Australia is a worthy expense to me. At least HSBC has low (0?) currency exhange fees for their ATM and debit cards.
4. Open a Fidelity account by Dec 31, 2006.
  • I'd like to open an account at Fidelity. Mainly for the ability to consolidate my finances, since they offer checking with ATM access, credit cards through MBNA, and investment accounts. I plan to start investing larger amounts of money once I raise up enough in my liquid savings accounts to feel comfortable with long-term investing. I believe Fidelity offers free dividend reimbursement, which is right up my alley. I'm also considering opening a Roth IRA either in 2006 or 2007. Even just socking $1000/year into a Roth IRA would make a huge difference 45 years from now. Plus, if I ever absolutely needed the money, my understanding is I could withdraw my contributions with no penalty.
5. Work out more.
  • I use to run pretty regularly, just 2-4 miles every couple days. But now between school work and the cold weather, I haven't run in months. My school is opening a new recreational facility with all kinds of new equipment and indoor tracks, so now I have no excuse not to exercise. Best of all, membership is free to students.
That's all I can think of for now. I'll update this as I think of new goals.


At 5:30 AM, Blogger Dave said...

You can make withdrawals from a Roth if the funds(principle only) have been in the IRA for 5 years. Kind of like a vesting period.

I wish I studied abroad when I was in college...very nice goals.

At 5:31 AM, Blogger Dave said...

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